Jurisdictional Immunity of International Institutions in Nigeria: An Appraisal
Nigerian Bar Journal, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 68-84, 2010
15 Pages Posted: 3 Aug 2011 Last revised: 3 Mar 2014
Date Written: July 1, 2010
Functional necessity appears to be the basis of the immunity usually accorded international institutions under international law. However, there is an emerging consensus that since international institutions are accorded legal personality under international law they should also be ready to accept the duties and responsibilities imposed on subjects of international law. It appears that the Nigerian courts are now reluctant to grant immunity to international institutions especially when the matter involves commercial agreements. The Nigerian courts justify this position by relying on the doctrine of restrictive immunity applicable to sovereign states when engaged in commercial transactions. The approach of the Nigerian courts is obviously an attempt to meet the ends of justice by preventing a situation where international institutions hide under the cloak of immunity to evade their legal responsibilities.
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